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Aqaba silos’ explosion toll rises to five, prosecutor charges demolition contracting companies

By Rana Husseini - May 21,2018 - Last updated at May 21,2018

AMMAN — Two people who were critically injured at the Aqaba silos’ explosion last week died in the hospital on Sunday as a result of wounds and burns, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) Chief Commissioner Nasser Shraideh.

Three people died last week as a result of the explosion at the Aqaba silos while several contracting companies were demolishing construction sites at the premises.

“Unfortunately, we lost two more people as a result of burns sustained from the explosion,” Shraideh told The Jordan Times.

The ASEZA commissioner added that the two remaining injured workers were “transferred to a hospital in Amman for further medical attention and treatment”.

Meanwhile, Shraideh said the prosecutor tasked with investigating the incident charged a contracting and sub-contracting company that were tasked with demolishing the old port with causing the death and harm of individuals.

“The investigations indicated that these two companies failed to adopt the required safety measure in accordance with their contracts,” Shraideh said.

ASEZA issued a statement on Monday stating that the cause of the explosion was due to “a spark from iron wielding or another electric source”.

The statement added that ASEZA closed down the premises to allow rescue teams and investigators quick and easy access to the area.

All the injured were rushed to nearby hospitals, and ASEZA made sure to contact the families of the injured for further assistance and to “ensure that their rights will be preserved regardless of who was to blame for the incident”, according to the statement.

The demolition of the silos was part of an executive plan to handover the port’s site and the third phase of the Marsa Zayed project, Shraideh said in April.

He added that preparing the infrastructure at the old port and demolishing and removing the rubbles of the old facilities such as the warehouses, silos and other parts will be accomplished by the end of August.

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